Communicating well with your employees is an essential part of running a business. Good communication builds positive relationships, increases staff morale, and ensures work gets done efficiently. In fact, most employees and employers consider good communication very important. However, while most employers believe they already deliver a workplace that offers this, many employees might feel underappreciated.
Primary communication aspects to consider
Usually, there are three main methods of communicating with your employees which consist of the following.
This is normally face-to-face or conducted via video technology. While it seems like a given, it’s still prone to mistakes and should be thought about and practiced.
This takes the form of letters or notes left on a desk and is used less and less in the modern office. The main reasons for this are that notes can easily get lost and they also don’t easily facilitate two-way communication.
This includes things like email, intranet, mobile apps, and collaboration tools. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to ensure that your staff feels happy and comfortable to reply honestly to you. Facilitating an open and trusting atmosphere is critical in a workplace environment, as it ensures a productive and engaged workforce. It also ensures employees stay connected to their workplace, and that they understand their company’s work ethos, values, and goals.
How to improve communication?
Here are some ways to improve workplace communication:
1. Align your strategy
Ensure your communication strategy aligns with your strategic goals. Does your communication strategy meet with your company culture and values? Make sure this is not overlooked.
2. Make sure leadership is involved
Get management and anyone else in the higher echelons of the company to work with you on the company’s communications strategy. Ensuring the people in charge are on board is important, as they are the ones that need to listen and also the ones that need to respond. Also, they more than anyone know what the company message needs to be.
3. Create engaging content
Internal communications should be a delicate balance of important company information and light-hearted, fun content. It needs to be engaging and keep people interested, but it also needs to encourage two-way communication and be open to inclusion.
4. Make sure your message is easy to understand
Remember, your employees are busy people and will have many things to distract them. As such, keep your message clear and interesting. Use an active voice and inclusive language, as well as videos and images to maximize engagement.
5. Use technology to generate more impact
The way you relay information to your workforce can be equally as important as what you are saying. Yes, email is a popular form of communication but it isn’t the only way. Consider using social media and Unified Communications technology to reach your employees in new ways. Both allow easy two-way communication and ensure everyone is included.
In the modern post-COVID world, technology can also help to connect and include those that are working remotely or operate on a hybrid model. Don’t forget, technology opens up numerous potential options such as using project management tools to manage meetings and help people contribute, live-streaming work events so that people who can’t attend can still feel included, or using closed social networks to allow quick collaboration.
Whichever way you choose to communicate with your workforce, it is important that they feel safe to speak their minds and, if needed, to give constructive criticism without having to worry about retribution. This will ensure a happier, healthier workforce and a much more proactive and efficient team.
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Aaron Amat.